U.S. Judge Robert Miller Jr. sentenced an Elkhart man to 326 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release after his guilty plea to sexually exploiting children.
John Harris, 46, received the sentence on Monday, culminating a process that began with a September 2010 investigation into the man’s conduct as part of a nationwide initiative combating child sexual exploitation, known as Project Safe Childhood.
Undercover law enforcement used a publicly available peer-to-peer file sharing program to download from a user multiple videos of children engaged in sexually explicit activity. An administrative subpoena issued to the user’s Internet Service Provider led to the conclusion that Harrison was the subscriber, and a search warrant for his home led authorities to discover child pornography on his computer.
In his plea agreement, Harrison admitted that in August 2006 he induced and enticed a girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct so that he could take photographs using his cell phone. He admitted that the girl was a minor and that he texted those images to another minor girl. The plea also involved production of child pornography relating to a third minor girl. Harris faked incompetence about the situation and used the Internet to superimpose faces of acquaintances on top of nude bodies – factors that also impacted the sentence imposed.